College football season is still a little over three months away, but FanDuel has us covered with numerous overall winning opportunities. Check out our college football odds series where we give you an overall Cincinnati football over/under prediction and pick.
After a historic run in 2021, Cincinnati ended the 2022 season with a 9-4 record. That’s a very respectable record, but the Bearcats had higher expectations of themselves. 2022 was Cincinnati’s final season in the AAC as they won’t be competing in the Big 12. They face a tougher conference so it will be interesting to see how they fare against better competition.
Here are the college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Over/Under Win Total Odds
Over 5.5 wins: +100
Under 5.5 wins: -122
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Why Cincinnati Can Win 5.5 Games
Defense will win games in the Big 12 conference. This is a high-scoring conference with plenty of firepower on every team. Cincinnati hired a new defensive coordinator in Bryan Brown. Brown is coming from Louisville with the new head coach. In Louisville, Brown led the defense to the FBS-best 50 sacks and forced the third-most turnovers. Louisville scored 19.2 points per game in 2022, which was good for 11th place. The most important value here will be the sacks. Cincinnati put a lot of pressure on the quarterback last season, bringing back some very good pass rushers like Jawon Briggs. However, they are in no hurry. With Brown now ordering defensive plays, you can expect the Bearcats to be seen much more often in backcourt. If they can pressure opposing offenses and force errors, the Bearcats will have a good first year in the Big 12.
Looking at the schedule, Cincinnati should win two of the first three games. They need to get four wins elsewhere but it won’t be easy. However, you don’t have to play Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, or Kansas State. Those are four teams the Bearcats are happy to dodge in their first season in a new conference. However, they will run into some familiar faces in Houston and UCF. Those are two games Cincinnati has a good chance of winning. Kansas, Baylor, BYU and West Virginia are all games Cincinnati can win as well. The Bearcats have a total of eight very winnable games on their schedule, six of which they must win.
Why Cincinnati Can’t Win 5.5 Games
Cincinnati loses its starting quarterback from 2022. Ben Bryant made the decision to enter the transfer portal after the spring game and has since signed with Northwestern. He led the Bearcats to a 9-2 start in 2022 and amassed 2,732 passyards with 21 touchdowns in just seven interceptions. Bryant made a tremendous impression in Cincinnati and after sustaining an injury, the Bearcats ended the season 2-0. Emory Jones will be his replacement, but he wasn’t nearly as good in 2022. At Arizona State, Jones threw for 191.63 yards per game and completed 62 percent of his passes. Jones only managed seven touchdowns and threw four picks in eight games last season. Cincinnati holds him in high esteem, but he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to lead a team at a high level. The loss of Ben Bryant is a huge loss for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati’s loss of Luke Fickell meant they lost some very good players alongside him. New head coach Scott Satterfield is doing his best to reshape the team and bring in some good recruits and transfers, but it’s not always easy. Since Jones is the starting quarterback, the Bearcats must give him guns. Without a good receiving core and backcourt, Jones will not be successful. Satterfield has mentioned that the wide receiver’s position is an area of need, so Cincinnati will look to achieve just that in the transfer portal. However, as of today, the Bearcats may not have the offensive talent to compete in the Big 12.
Final Cincinnati Over/Under Win Total Prediction & Pick
Cincinnati has been doing well for a few years. They haven’t had a losing season since 2018. Sattefield has coached at Appalachian State and Cincinnati during his tenure and has never had fewer than six wins. No matter where he is, Satterfield finds a way to build a successful program. It’s a new conference for Cincinnati, but I still expect them to host a bowl game this season.
Final Cincinnati Over/Under Win Overall Prediction and Selection: Over 5.5 (+100)